Stakeholders of the BIG South London programme recently convened to celebrate its significant economic contribution to the region, exceeding £30 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) over the past three years.

Launched in 2021 by local authorities within the South London Partnership area, the programme aimed to revitalize the economy post-pandemic by fostering collaboration between businesses, universities, and further education colleges.

The impact of the BIG South London initiative has been substantial, with accomplishments including the creation of 80 new products and services, 800 jobs, and the establishment of 100 business and higher education collaborations. This success is attributed to the programme’s focus on supporting businesses and the charity sector, facilitating the development of innovative solutions and the creation of higher-value jobs.

Collaborative Efforts

Mike Jackson, Chief Executive of Richmond Upon Thames Borough Council, highlighted the collaborative nature of the initiative, emphasizing the shared goal of enhancing South London’s economic, social, and environmental well-being. With contributions from 13 universities and further education colleges, the programme has successfully addressed innovation challenges and promoted community engagement.

As the BIG South London programme evolves, the focus shifts to the BIG Growth Programme led by London South Bank University. Funded by the UK government, this initiative offers South London businesses access to academic support in digital health & wellbeing, circular economy, and low carbon sectors. Additionally, businesses can benefit from Innovation Vouchers worth up to £5,000 to collaborate with leading academic institutions.

Matthew Hamilton, Director of South London Partnership, expressed pride in the programme’s achievements and emphasised the importance of sustaining momentum and partnerships. Encouraging businesses, employers, and charities to leverage the resources offered, Hamilton highlighted the launch of the Retrofit Skills Centre, addressing the urgent demand for skills to decarbonise homes across South London.